News in the Ads #17

5 key stories taking to the streets of Adland of late, that fell under my radar a tardy two weeks later.

1) Marlboro owner to sue over cigarette branding clampdown
Tobacco giant Philip Morris has started legal proceedings against the Australian government’s passing of legislation to make plain packaging mandatory for cigarettes.

-> It has to be said that if I were a cigarette manufacturer, I would not be too pleased with the global “let’s hate smoking” health campaigns going around- particularly if I were Australian and had to face these horrendous images glaring at me in newsagents. However, they do prove a point – smoking is undeniably bad for you. In Australia, regulations are trying to ensure that this point is laid bare with cigarette packaging only “serving as a stark reminder of the devastating health effects of smoking”. This means that from December 2012, all tobacco in Australia will be sold in plain olive-brown packets, with the brand and product names appearing in a standard colour, position, font size and style – result being no branding or product differentiation. The question is, will this even work?

2) Samsung turns Tweets into works of art
Samsung has enlisted four top illustrators to create original pieces of artwork based on the requests of Twitter users. To promote the launch of its new Galaxy Note handset, the mobile phone company worked with social media agency Jam to run the Create My Tweet campaign between 23rd-25th November.

-> Intended to “showcase the capabilities of this innovative and category-changing handset by combining some of the world’s top creative talent with the collective imagination exhibited every day on Twitter”, I do like this campaign – in particular, how it fuses the virtual/idea with a literal representation. An example that is all about giving the Samsung audience something to talk about and engage with, create some buzz and display the prowess of this latest Samsung product (or perhaps make that the skills of the 4 illustrators).

3) Black Friday goes grey
The post-holiday shopping day was never as significant as everyone said.

-> New Year, Halloween and now Black Friday – all those days built up, and then annoyingly over-hyped. I was surprised this year when Black Friday made its way to the thanksgiving-less UK, but according to the article by AdWeek, Black Friday is on the decline, with its value being more symbolic that real. This is mainly due to the advent of the web and with it “Cyber Monday” and the onslaught of “Pre-Black Friday”, which makes sales keep moving further back each year.

4) Emirates targets rival airlines with Facebook strategy
Emirates is turning to Facebook to build an ’emotional’ connection with its customers, as it looks to address its lack of social-media presence.

-> Emirates are attempting to get more relevant to a wider audience by bolstering their online presence. The airline are looking to hire a digital agency to target the ‘experience economy’ audience, which it identifies as ‘the new school’ of frequent business travellers. Its Facebook page will provide content, a way of communicating its ‘voice’ and a convenient channel for consumers to reach the airline group – all efforts to position itself as ‘cosmopolitan’ and ‘prestigious’, beat rival competition, as well as driving loyalty among current Emirates customers. The airline wider business objective is to double in size within five years and become the biggest independent airline in the world. Its digital move is therefore strategic following news like the statistic that 26m people visit social networks each day via mobile.

5) Six Lynx Adverts Banned By Advertising Standards Authority
Six raunchy adverts for Lynx-branded men’s toiletries have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after attracting more than 100 complaints.
A poster for Lynx shower gel and five internet adverts for Lynx Dry Full Control deodorant must not be displayed in their current form after they were found to be degrading to women and likely to cause widespread offence.

-> A poster featuring a bikini-clad woman under a shower at a beach, with the headline: “The cleaner you are the dirtier you get” has been deemed offensive by ASA because it objectified women. While I actually quite like the copy, the whole thing puts a new spin on something as mundane as shower gel, and thank god – there is absolutely no mention of the Lynx effect. Lucy Pinder’s pose however is just unneccessary. The other ads that were banned were internet banner ads that showed Lucy eating an ice lolly, stripping wallpaper or bending over an oven door – and I’ll leave those to your imagination and Google Images.

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